COST-CUTTING PART II: NASCAR INTRODUCES COMPOSITE BODY AS LOW-COST OPTION IN GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 10, 2006) -- NASCAR Grand National Division teams, from the Busch East Series or AutoZone West Series, have one ...
COST-CUTTING PART II: NASCAR INTRODUCES COMPOSITE BODY AS LOW-COST OPTION IN GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 10, 2006) -- NASCAR Grand National Division teams, from the Busch East Series or AutoZone West Series, have one thing they can count on during the racing season. After most short track races, where close-quarters racing leads to contact between cars, the custom-mounted steel bodies on their cars will need some attention.
Fixing dents or replacing entire body panels, however, can be costly. The labor-intensive bodywork is a big expense for Grand National Division teams and NASCAR's Research & Development staff is taking steps to alleviate the cost concerns.
Beginning in 2006, Grand National Division teams will have the option of using a molded synthetic composite body, which comes in one piece and is designed to save teams money while maintaining the quality of racing on the track. The composite body will be mandatory in 2007.
"As we continue to restructure NASCAR's regional touring series, cost containment on our teams' behalf will be a top priority," said Don Hawk, NASCAR Director of Regional Racing Development. "In the Grand National Division, the constant bodywork has always been a major expense and this new composite body has the potential to drastically reduce costs in the long term. Our goal is to provide some financial relief and help these teams make the most of their resources."
Mounting and repairs of the new composite bodies are expected to cost less, because less time is required and most pieces can be more easily replaced. As an added benefit, the competition on the track will be enhanced by a universal body shape, which reduces the aerodynamic advantages of one model over another.
Veteran NASCAR driver Ken Schrader, who recorded his 11th career AutoZone West Series victory in January at Phoenix International Raceway, has installed one of the first composite bodies on one of his cars. Although the body has yet to be raced, Schrader says the new package is a welcome change.
"I think it'll be a tremendous help," said Schrader. "The cost savings of this body versus a metal body, plus the cost of buying templates, is huge. There are a lot of advantages. Anything to get the cost of the sport down is going to be a big help."
South Carolina-based American Fiberglass will manufacture the bodies based on specifications provided by NASCAR. The body design will be fundamentally the same for all makes and models, however teams will be able to customize window openings and decals to suit their own type of car. Pre-manufactured window pieces and decals are made by Five Star Stock Car Bodies.
The bodies, window pieces, and decals are available from the following distributors: BSR Products, Eshleman Racing, and Summit Racing Equipment. Additional information regarding the distribution and availability of bodies and accessories can be found at www.nascarmembers.com for NASCAR members or www.nascarregionalracing.com for the general public.
The introduction of composite bodies is just one part of NASCAR's comprehensive approach to lowering the costs of racing in the Grand National Division, which serves as a feeder system to NASCAR's three national series.